Saturday, September 05, 2009

Today In History, Losing Catherine Parr

On September 5Th 1548 Catherine Parr passed away. Catherine is most well known as being the last wife of Henry VIII. Many had even said that she was more his nurse than his wife. The real story of Catherine's life had begun after Henry had died, when she married Thomas Seymour.

After Henry had died Catherine had taken his daughter Elizabeth into her care. They had become close and in many novels it is stated that Catherine had given Elizabeth stability which she had never known before. The drama with Catherine began with her husband Thomas Seymour. Thomas and Catherine had married not too soon after Henry VIII had died and some had speculated a little too soon. Catherine being madly in love with him had not noticed the tell tell signs of affection between Elizabeth and Thomas. The affection had later gone so far that Thomas had been sneaking into Elizabeth's room at night to "surprise and tickle" her. After she had found out about her husbands late night rendezvous it is rumored that she began to join him. Later on Catherine had caught him with Elizabeth and finally had had enough and sent her away.

Catherine had become pregnant and gave birth to her only child Mary Seymour but she died six days later at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. She died from childbed fever. Less than a year after her death Thomas would loose his head for trying to attack his own nephew the king and for ousting his brother as protector. It is rumored that Elizabeth loved Thomas and had made plans to be together but Thomas had been on a blood thirsty rampage for power and lost his head because of his own actions.


  1. Oh what a scandalous affair! I wonder if it's true, if she really did join him or if she did, if it was the only way possible to keep a "protective" eye on Elizabeth?
    Either way, Catherine, although not my favorite, certainly was a queen in her own right.
    The king certainly knew how to choose his wives according to whom would best behoove him at the time.

  2. We will never know for sure it is weird that some say she did join and others say she did not join in.

    She was very smart though and was one of a handful of know women authors who had published work.

    Maybe after being stuck with Henry she broke down after learning of her chosen husbands deceit and went crazy, my favorite read on her was Carolly Erickson's The Last Wife Of Henry VIII or Robin Maxwell's Virgin Prelude to the Throne.

  3. I didn't know too much about Catherine Parr before I began to research her for NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES. I discovered that when she wed Henry she was "middle aged" (about 30 or 32!) and he was her 3rd husband -- though of course she would have preferred to have wed Thomas Seymour after her 2nd husband died, but Henry stepped in and you can't say no to the king! Well, not that king, anyway!

    I also learned that she was fastidious about cleanliness and hygiene, took lots of scented baths, and used a silver eyebrow tweezer to tame her brows. She's really one of Henry's more fascinating wives, but she never seems to get her due!

  4. Leslie, she defiantly was a Lady, a smart one too. I can appreciate a educated woman ho knows how to take care of herself. I agree about Thomas though she would have married him if Henry would not have gotten in the way. I think she does not get her due because there is not much on her and people forget she was the last one. I think the tragic part of her story is her only child just vanished from record not even two years after she died. You know she loved that baby and probably waited her whole life for her. Heart breaking.

    Almost done with Royal Affairs, going to post my review tonight!


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